ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock police say they have charged the driver of the truck who they say hit and killed Sean Kelley in downtown Round Rock late Friday night. Kelley was about to cross Main Street at the intersection of Mays Street around 11 p.m. when it happened.
Police say initial information indicates the driver of the silver pick-up truck, 33-year-old Javier Morales-Ramirez, ran a red light at the intersection and struck Kelley. Morales-Ramirez left the scene but authorities said they were able to identify him and the suspect vehicle with the help of witness statements and evidence.
Authorities say while investigating the crash, officers went to Morales-Ramirez’s home and discovered he got into a fight with his girlfriend prior to the crash. Officers arrested him on assault charges while they continued working on the crash. On Monday afternoon, he was charged with failure to stop and render aid in connection with Kelley’s death.
“Absolutely unreal to stand just a few feet away from where my best friend last stood,” Randy Preston said of his friend. Preston and Kelley were hanging out at Rockey’s Piano Bar before the crash. “He told me he was going to catch an Uber home, so he walked out of the piano bar and that was the last I saw of him that night.”
Moments after saying goodbye, Preston heard sirens.”We walked out, I turned and saw this crime scene tape all over the intersection, I was like ‘oh my goodness what happened?”” He didn’t find out until early the next morning. Preston got a call saying his friend and co-worker, who was like a brother, was killed in a hit-and-run.
“Conversations we kind of suspended Friday night because we’re like ‘hey we’re going to hang out tomorrow.’ Tomorrow came for me but not for him,” said Preston.
Kelley’s teenage students are also trying to cope with a sudden goodbye. “He was one of their favorite teachers, one of their favorite coaches,” explains Preston tearfully. Kelley taught special education and was a cross-country and tennis coach at Stony Point High School. “For the thousands of students that Sean has touched, I want this person to step forward so we can have closure,” said Preston.
Hundreds gather to remember Coach Kelley
Monday, there were coworkers, friends, family members, but mostly students and former students who filled the bleachers at the Stony Point football field, all to celebrate a man they knew as Coach Kelley.
“I don’t know that you can necessarily put your finger on one specific thing because he did so many little things to big things — the kids definitely were invested in them and it’s just really sad loss for us,” Assistant Athletic Coordinator Alli Coburn said.
Student after student shared memories of Coach Kelley, some funny, like the time he danced and did a cartwheel at a school event. Others were fighting back tears, remembering how the beloved coach would always encourage them.
“When I was bottom JV and struggling to finish the workout [runs] on distance days, Coach Kelley would be right there [riding] with me on his bike, motivating me and making sure I wasn’t alone,” one student said.
Coach Kelley’s parents were also at the memorial, listening to the countless young voices who shared memories about the man they called son. Kelley’s mother spoke with some students, offering hugs and memories of her son.
“[Kelley’s mom] got me with some emotional words, telling me that he spoke about me a lot on the phone with her,” Stony Point High School Senior, Mireya Del Abra said. “I didn’t think he would speak about his players that he coached, so it was just very nice to know that.”
Friends and family have also started a GoFundMe page in honor of Kelley. All the money raised will go to a scholarship in Kelley’s name, to help students, much like the ones Kelley spent his life helping.